Elon Musk

FFS amateur hour

That was a beautiful launch. Try fail,learn,try again.

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Rocket science is senior hurling.

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Almost live pictures

A test that doesn’t find a problem is a failure

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One for the work jargon thread

“a rapid unscheduled disassembly”

An embarrassing 24 hours for the Musker. Stephen King and Lebron have him over their knee along with the wee explosion.

The great man has been cleaning house the past few days.

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Elon musk launching DeSantis Presidential bid is INTERNET Gold

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Elad NehoraiJune 8, 2023

“I’m not trying to compare this s*** to Aum Shinrikyo or even Rwanda but I’m gonna be totally honest with you Elad, I’m scared scared this time.”

I got this text from my friend Sarah Hightower, an independent researcher who specializes in the far right and online extremist movements. I had been spending a year warning people about Elon Musk’s increasingly overt antisemitism, but I wanted to know if she felt his most recent Twitter interaction was as alarming as I thought it was.

Musk replied to an initial tweet that uses the word “Js” to refer to Jews, while referencing a modern blood libel conspiracy theory about the chemical compound adrenochrome, which alleges that “global elites” torture children to extract the chemical from their blood for the purpose of maintaining their health and youth.

At no point in Musk’s response did he call out this blatant antisemitism. As is common for him when interacting with bigotry, Musk responded obliquely, referencing Mel Gibson’s physique while ignoring the substance of the tweet. While this could theoretically be construed as an oversight, Musk consistently finds himself chatting it up with Twitter’s best-known antisemites; what happened this week was just more explicit.

Musk’s history of amplifying antisemites and antisemitic rhetoric on Twitter, along with his control of the social media platform itself, make him the loudest, and most powerful antisemite in American history.

Elon Musk has 140 million followers. That’s 40 times more of an audience than Tucker Carlson’s average viewership on Fox News. That alone makes him a massive cultural influencer, able to shape conversations on an international scale in the way traditional media could only dream of. Unfortunately, due to the traditional primacy and respect accorded totelevision and mainstream media, it is easy for Musk’s power on social media to be overlooked.

Elon Musk’s behavior is part of a larger pattern that puts all Jews in America in urgent danger. Musk is engaging in essentially a scaled-up, far more widespread version of rhetoric that has directly led to violence against minorities.

“This isn’t just endorsement by omission,” Hightower said of Musk’s most recent Twitter activity. “He’s positively, unapologetically engaging with the sort of rhetoric that’s written multiple blank checks for genocide in the past.”

Hightower referenced Aum Shinrikyo and the 1994 Rwandan genocide as two instances that embody the devastating potential of inflammatory rhetoric propagated through media, triggering violence on a mass scale.

In Aum Shinrikyo’s case, the Japanese cult effectively weaponized media to enthrall followers and justify their apocalyptic vision. From publishing their own magazines to engaging in public relations campaigns, they were able to use coded media messaging to recruit and eventually mobilize their members. Perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide used extremist messaging on radio stations to drum up hatred against the Tutsi minority, which ultimately led to the murder of at least 500,000 people.

In both cases, there was an earlier coded stage, in which messages were spread through conspiracy theories, drumming up terror of the “other.” As these coded ideologies spread, the hatred became more explicit, leading to mass violence.

I made a similar point almost a year ago in reference to the rise of hateful rhetoric targeting the transgender community in America. I drew parallels to pogroms targeting Jews, describing how they often started with conspiracy theories. This grew and evolved, leading to violence, sometimes followed by genocide.

Today trans people are more targeted than ever.

Musk frequently cloaks his antisemitic rhetoric in the language of conspiracy theories. Whether he’s claiming it is “accurate” that George Soros is a “Lizard God-King of the world” who controls the fate of each business on earth, or linking Soros with the Rothschilds (one of the most overt and well-known antisemitic conspiracy theories in recent history), or engaging in the New World Order conspiracy theory that claims a small elite (Jews) are on the verge of turning the world into a single government, or interacting with those who spread the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, Musk is regularly spreading the kind of coded messaging that leads to the spread of antisemitism.

Whatever his intentions, the simple reality is that Musk is amplifying and spreading antisemitic hate speech.

The potency of the conspiracy theories Musk endorses lies not in their validity, but in their ability to tap into existing prejudices and fears, providing a convenient scapegoat for complex societal issues. When Musk links Soros to the Rothschilds or implies a shadowy elite are controlling the world, he isn’t simply making an offhand comment. He’s tapping into deep-seated antisemitic tropes. In doing so, Musk emboldens those who already hold such prejudices, while also subtly introducing these harmful stereotypes to a broader audience.

However Musk is not just a popular influencer, which would be harmful enough already, but is the owner of the social media platform where he trollishly wields that influence. This means Musk dictates the rules of Twitter’s online environment, getting to rule over what is considered hate speech, who gets amplified and who gets suspended.

He has wielded that power with gusto. Musk has gone out of his way to reinstate some of Twitter’s most notorious antisemites, including David Icke (who argues that the world is run by a cabal of lizard people who funded the Holocaust) and Andrew Anglin, the founder of neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer .

In less than a year as Twitter CEO, Musk has decimated the content moderation teams, with the trust and safety division, the team responsible for content moderation, not even having anyone to run it after its most recent resignation. Even if Twitter had a robust content moderation division in place, Musk has made it explicit that he doesn’t believe antisemitic conspiracy theories are antisemitic.

The results have been quicker than even many of us expected: Antisemitic messaging has doubled since Musk took over eight months ago. According to the same analysis, hate speech as a whole has tripled, with a “sustained volume of antisemitic hate speech” on the platform.

More to the point, extremists have made it clear that they see this as an opportunity to recruit. Organizing in places like 4chan, they have coordinated Twitter campaigns since the day Musk took over. They celebrate his attacks on figures like Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL and use Musk’s trolling to find new followers.

Combined with Musk’s validation of their conspiracy theories along with essentially nonexistent content moderation, Twitter now offers the best opportunities for extremists to recruit and for antisemitism itself to become mainstream.

This makes Musk the most dangerous antisemite in America, and possibly the most dangerous antisemite in American history. No other person has ever had this much power over media and to spread a message.

On top of the already rising antisemitism in America prior to Musk’s takeover, we are now in an especially precarious moment. And we need to all collectively face it before it gets darker than ever.